Your Black Muslim Bakery associate Richard Lewis testified today in his own trial in Alameda County Superior Court that he didn’t have anything to do with the kidnapping and torture of two women in Oakland three years ago.
When his attorney, Patrick Hetrick, asked Lewis, 26, where he was at the time the women were abducted the night of May 17, 2007, he said, “I was most likely at the bakery at the time.”
Lewis, who faces life in prison if he’s convicted, is accused of being one of a group of five bakery members, including bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, who abducted the two women after they left an East Oakland bingo parlor and then beat and tortured the woman at a house in a different location in East Oakland.
Two half-brothers of Bey IV, Joshua Bey and Yusuf Bey V, have testified at Lewis’s trial that Bey IV planned the kidnapping in hopes that the women would lead bakery members to acquaintances who were drug dealers.
The half-brothers, who pleaded guilty to lesser charges in return for their testimony against Lewis, Bey IV and a third remaining defendant, Tamon Halfin, said Bey IV then wanted to rob the drug dealers to obtain up to $500,000 to help solve the bakery’s financial problems.
When Hetrick asked Lewis, a former football star at Mission High School in San Francisco, if he left the bakery on May 17, 2007, with Bey IV and Bey V, he said, “No, sir.”
Hetrick then asked Lewis if he was in a decommissioned police car that Bey IV had bought at auction when it flashed its emergency lights and sounded its siren in order to get the two women to pull off the highway, but Lewis again said no.
Lewis also denied that he was at the house at 6826 Avenal Drive in Oakland where the women were tortured.
Hetrick asked, “Did you have anything at all to do with this kidnapping and torture?”
Lewis replied, “No, sir.”
Joshua Bey and Bey V both testified that Lewis participated in the kidnapping and torture and prosecutor Chris Lamiero told jurors in his opening statement that Lewis went to a local hospital to get treatment after he hurt his ankle when he and the other suspects fled the house on Avenal drive because a police officer came to the scene.
But Lewis said the reason he got treatment at the hospital at 1:30 a.m. on May 19, 2007, is that he hurt his ankle when he fell down the steps of a bus that Bey IV kept next to the bakery, which was located at 5826 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland.
Lewis said Bey IV told him to go to the bus at about 6 a.m. on May 18, 2009, to get a key but he was frightened by “a massive pit bull” that Bey IV kept in the back of the bus and then leapt off the bus.
“I fell off the bottom of the steps and hurt my ankle,” Lewis said.
Under cross-examination by Lamiero, Lewis not only accused Joshua Bey and Yusuf V of lying about his alleged involvement in the crime but he also accused several Oakland police officers of lying on the witness stand.
When Lamiero asked, “Are you the victim of a scandalous prosecution that’s based on lies,” Lewis said, “Yes.”
Lewis was the last witness in the case and Lamiero and Hetrick will present their closing arguments on Thursday.
Lewis is the first bakery member to stand trial in the kidnapping and torture case.
Bey IV and Halfin, another bakery associate, are slated to be prosecuted together at a later date. They also face life in prison if they’re convicted.
But before Bey IV stands trial in the kidnapping and torture trial, he is first scheduled to stand trial in May on three counts of murder for allegedly ordering the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in Oakland in July and August of 2007.
The bakery went bankrupt and closed its doors in late 2007.